Go Real or Go Home

After a wonderful afternoon with our friends at our city’s annual RibFest followed by blueberry picking with my hubby, I was exhausted and hungry.

Hungry enough to eat something small, but not a real meal — and I certainly didn’t feel like cooking.

Hubby, who had eaten a small cow at RibFest,  wasn’t hungry yet (he’s THE most intuitive eater I know) but I knew I needed something soon or at midnight I’d be clamoring for the fridge or snack cabinet.

And all that sounded good was a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Pure comfort food. My friend had just given me the most ripe tomatoes I’d ever seen and just knew they’d make for a perfect sandwich.

In the past, when low on Points for dinner (especially on nights my husband had class) I would have taken two slices of fat-free cheddar and tomatoes and smacked them between two slices of Sara Lee Delightful Wheat bread (“buttered” with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray)  and served it with a 0-point salad for a 2-Point “meal.”

And an hour later I’d be starving and end up ODing on junk I didn’t need because, though it pains me to admit it now, my dinner hadn’t been satisfying and left me genuinely hungry but also feeling deprived.

In retrospect, I was basically taking a comfort food and deconstructing it and trying to make it so low-Point that it lost all its luster.

Tonight, I did not want to go down that path. I wanted real cheese. Real bread. So I used a big slice of Trader Joe’s sourdough bread, a serving of Kraft 2% sharp cheddar and tomato. Instead of making  it on the stove, I toasted it the toaster oven the way my husband always does. It absolutely hit the spot.

And you know what? It was so delicious it didn’t even NEED butter (real or otherwise)! And I felt so satisfied that I think the kitchen is closed for the evening.

When I have moments like these (they’ve been more prominent during my pregnancy but even in the year preceding it I was edging towards this), I can see how far I’ve come. “Going real” is truly the way to go. All the sugar-free, fat-free stuff of the past that I used as tools to help  me lost weight (i.e., substitutions) just isn’t cutting it, and so I’m going to make a continued concerted effort (as I have been throughout this pregnancy) to “go real.”

Real food. Because real feels good!!

How about you? Do you find eating real, wholesome food helps or do you use “diet food” as a crutch the way I used to? What works best for you when it comes to keeping balance in your diet (literal sense of the word!)

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7 thoughts on “Go Real or Go Home

  1. I’ve read many times that those “substitute” foods trick your body. By taste and other qualities, it expects certain nutrients or components – then when it doesn’t get them, it’s even further unsatisfied. They think this is one of the real problems with diet soda – your body expects sweets and doesn’t get it and then ends up craving them even more than you did before. I think going for “real food” is THE way to go. It’s what our bodies expect and know how to process. It’s no surprise it’s always more satisfying.

  2. ABSOLUTELY! I have veered far away from diet foods for a while now. granted, I have been eating a bit too much of these lately and gained weight, but honestly, I’d rather that than be so accustomed to diet food that I’d forget what real cheese, butter, milk taste like. Plus, there’s so much literature out there that reiterates just what you wrote: real foods keep you satisfied, diet foods are low point initially but make you reach for more later.

    enjoy your real cheese! (though I may argue that kraft cheese isn’t real cheese either, ha!)

  3. I’m trying to go “real” as well. Bought some fuller fat greek yogurt last week and am really finding that I eat less because it actually tastes good. I also had two whole eggs with a bunch veggies and cheese for dinner the other night…in the past I’d have 2 egg whites and one whole egg, and then be unsatisfied so I’d pick at things in the cupboard after dinner. But I was just satisfied the other night – it was great. Baby steps…

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